March 26, 2021

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico public schools have a long way to go if they are to meet goals for returning students to the classroom set by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the administration of President Joe Biden.

An analysis by The Associated Press shows that 5% of students from kindergarten through grade 8 can walk through school doors full time. The national average for a similar age group was around 45% in February.

The governor has urged schools to open their doors to in-person learning for all students on April 5.

On Thursday, Biden reiterated his goal to have over half of K-8 schools open by April 30, his 100th day in office.

The state and federal government are dedicating enormous resources to rebooting in-person education and making up for learning loss. State officials haven’t estimated the toll on learning for the entire pandemic, but a legislative analysis found learning loss of between four and 12 months as a result of the last spring’s closures alone.

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